I often think about our trip to Mt. St. Helens, an eerie, yet tranquil volcano that unleashed a firestorm of devastation back in 1980. The May 18, 1980 eruption sheared off approximately 1,300 feet of mountain top, killed over 50 people, and destroyed all vegetation for miles. Today, the mountain’s jagged, gaping mouth occasionally belches plumes of steam as a reminder of the fire down below.
The place reminds me of the corner of my mind where I go to when I want to be alone – the place where there are no sounds to disturb my thoughts. No movement to distract my imagination. It’s the place where I’m certain that Alfred Hitchcock, Poe, and Stephen King are each somehow connected. It’s the gate to the real-life Twilight Zone. The muse of all muses.
There are signs of returning life nearly thirty years after the 1980 eruption – small flowers, young trees, grasses, and even a darting field mouse or screeching hawk. But the thousands upon thousands of dead trees lying on their sides like matchsticks, all facing the same direction as a result of the blast, are a constant reminder of just how small we humans really are.
* Be sure to stop by on Monday for an interesting visit with Lee Child.